Stroke’s No Yolk

By Rachel Garrod

Perhaps you have heard that eggs, because they are high in cholesterol, can increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) such as heart attack and stroke? For me, a huge lover of eggs, research showing that consumption of eggs seems largely unrelated to the risk of CVD made a pleasing read.

Published in 2013 in the BMJ, researchers found that moderate consumption of eggs, one a day, had no effect on your risk of CVD and, even better, results published in May in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a high egg diet of 12 a week also showed no greater risk for CVD than no eggs.

Best of all, researchers from China studying egg consumption and CVD in almost 84,000 subjects showed that for people who ate about one egg a day there was actually a 26 per cent lower risk of suffering from hemorrhagic stroke (stroke caused by a bleed in the brain). There was a 28 per cent lower risk of dying due to this type of stroke and an 18 per cent reduction in CVD-related deaths. Wow, I was “eggstatic”: I probably eat 10-12 eggs a week, so this finding is good news for me.

Because these studies are generally observational, we cannot assume that eating eggs is the cause of these reductions. However, since the studies are extensive and the authors were able to adjust for other confounding factors such as weight or age, there is a good chance eggs are protective. Eggs are a good source of protein and vitamins and of healthy phospholipids and carotenoids, so perhaps it’s these nutrients that are helping us.

One other piece of research I came across this week concerns physiotherapy rehabilitation after a stroke. For many years the general thinking has been that most improvement occurs in the first few months after a stroke. However, in a recent major review of exercise after stroke (NIHR Dissemination Centre) beneficial effects were seen, mainly on balance, even up to five months post event. Since many studies do not include long-term stroke survivors we don’t know just how long people can go on improving.

So, if you like eggs, great, eat them every day. And if, unfortunately, you have suffered from a stroke some time ago and are still having problems with balance, don’t give up hope – physiotherapy may still be beneficial.

 

Physiotherapy lecturer and counsellor Rachel Garrod can be contacted at: Tel. (+34) 652 281 122; rachelgarrod1@gmail.com

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